Sam Allardyce has admitted his exit from Newcastle was “a shock” as the club launched the search for their eighth manager in 11 years.
The 53-year-old looked to have survived the worst of the intense pressure which came his way as the Magpies’ season lurched from one crisis to another.
However, just four days after they avoided an FA Cup giant-killing act – if only just – at Stoke on Sunday, owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort decided the time was right to act.
The decision clearly came as a surprise to Allardyce, who told Sky Sports News: “I’m disappointed obviously but I’d just like to wish everybody at Newcastle all the best for the future and I hope things go very, very well.
“Yes it was a shock, I didn’t expect it.”